Agustí Centelles
a Journal of War and Exile
from 09 June 2009
until 13 September 2009
Jeu de Paume, Paris

This exhibition retraces the career of Catalan photographer Agustí Centelles (Valencia, Spain, 1909-Barcelona, 1985) between 1936 and 1939, including his experience of the Spanish Civil War and his internment in the Bram camp in France.

A renowned photojournalist in the troubled pre-war period, Centelles reacted to the putsch of the Extreme Right by joining the Democratic defence effort in 1936. In 1937 he was taken on by the government propaganda office, becoming one of the great image-makers of the Republican resistance.
Like thousands of other Spaniards, he reacted to defeat in 1939 by going into exile over the Pyrenees. He was interned in the Bram refugee camp, where he continued to take photographs in spite of the extremely difficult conditions. When he decided to flee occupied France and make his way secretly back into Spain, he was forced to hide several thousand negatives in a house in Carcassonne in order to protect the identities of people who might have been recognised by Franco’s police. Forty years later, after the Caudillo’s death, Centelles returned to France and reclaimed many of his archives.

The exhibition presents some hundred photographs, taken during the Civil War and during the nine months at Bram. Most have never been seen in France. There is also a collection of documents (magazines, letters and notebooks).

Exhibition curated by: Miquel Berga and Manuel Cirauqui,

produced by the Virreina Centre de la Imatge de l’Institut de Cultura de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona, in collaboration with the Jeu de Paume,

with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona,
the contribution of Centelles Archives, Barcelona,

and in partnership with De l'air; Le Courrier International; Le Figaroscope;; Polka Magazine; RFI
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